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A beautiful tale: turning trainees into teachers at the Foundling Museum, London

Partner story

Photo: © Foundling Museum

When the Foundling Museum launched the Tracing Our Tales programme in October 2017, it never could have envisioned its impact.

Tracing Our Tales is a three-year mentorship programme based at the Foundling Museum in London, the UK. This unique programme equips young adults from London boroughs, who have previously been in institutional care centres, with valuable teaching and art skills.

The Tracing Our Tales programme will provide these young adults with paid employment and life skills, including in public speaking, critical and creative thinking and people management, as well as skills in art and creative expression. As the programme develops, the trainees will develop workshops aimed at families visiting the Museum, encouraging them to engage with the exhibitions and collections. Following the mentorship, there will also be opportunities for trainees to join the Museum’s workforce as workshop assistants.

Students in the first group of the Tracing Our Tales programme said that the programme not only provided them with a safe space to share their life experiences through art, but also with the confidence to put their new-found artistic skills into practice.

“Trainees have already taught a range of successful and dynamic workshops,” Museum Curator Emma Middleton said, “One of these was the most popular workshops this year, having had more than 120 children attend.”

Now, the Museum has recruited 12 young adults from any of the London boroughs to begin year two of its mentorship programme in January 2019. For more information about their programme, click here.

Teaching others to teach others, this programme is a beautiful tale of its own.

This grant falls under the Special Interest Programme, which you can find here. Oak’s Special Interest grants cover a wide range of fields, including health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts.